Shooting the shit and hitting those targets.

This online dating thing really hasn’t been doing much to accelerate my foray into polyamory. In the 5 or 6 months since I started venturing down this path, I’ve met a grand total of zero women who have been interested enough in the concept of dating someone who has a girlfriend. Well, that’s not entirely true. I had a date all ready and scheduled, but it fell through several times. I figured if she was that busy, it probably wasn’t worth the effort. I’ve sent out numerous messages that either weren’t received well or maybe didn’t even get perused in the first place. The less my actions garner responses, the less inclined I am to keep chipping away. The incentive dies down when the feeling is an inevitable lack of equivocal attention. It’s ok, I’m not letting it get to me. It’s pretty hard getting down in the dumps when you’ve got the backing of a supportive partner in a great relationship.

The thing that online dating has helped with is finding friends. My favourite ex-girlfriend was a gal I met online. We still hang out and come together over our mutual love of excessive eating and vegetative viewing habits. She’s an excellent person that I’m lucky to still have in my life. Most of the community I’ve met in Toronto, including some of my closest friends (involving my afore/oft-mentioned girlfriend) stemmed from my date with this girl. If it wasn’t for our shared sense of humour and love of puns, it’s likely I wouldn’t have been brought into such a tightly knit community who enrich my Toronto existence. That one gal, aside from being one of the strongest, hardworking, clever and spirited people I know, helped me more than either of us ever would’ve expected from a once off meeting.

Today I met yet another person physically who was previously an online dating presence. Our personalities seemed to gel, but she wasn’t into the idea of poly dating. I resolved to just be friends because finding a good connection doesn’t have to be a sexual thing. Finally having our schedules align today, we gave it a shot. I meet a ton of people and instantly try to push towards a rapport, but it’s rare for that rapport to open so quickly into a constant barrage of riffing bits. Arriving to see her in the park lying down with a potted plant by her side, she didn’t even turn her head to face me. She spoke “I can’t tell if I just have bad luck and happen to accidentally interrupt fly orgies, or if they actively seek me out just to fuck above my head.” A small swarm buzzed about, zipping back and forth above her. The more we spoke the increasingly irreverent the conversation began.

We contemplated potential new flashy Japanese toilet ideas. Like “what if we constructed a gyno table at a 45″ angle solely for pooping?” “What if it had an enema attached for a total clean?” “Well this is Japanese, right? Surely after the enema had finished pushing out water there’d be a vacuum to make the process super efficient?” We moved on to more artistically inclined topics, such as her idea of trying to poop out a rainbow. “What if you spaced it out perfectly, eating only a single thing that would turn your poop a certain colour, trying for the whole spectrum to do one large multicoloured poop”? “Wouldn’t it be more effective and collaborative to have 7 people focusing on a different colour?” “I guess, but you might need to stagger ingestion times in order to have people poop around the same time. You don’t want the cabbage pooper to drop prematurely.” We ate her abundant scones left over from a cancelled house warming party and discussed inequalities inherent to power struggles, cultural inheritance of indigenous culture and brutal outdated societal norms. Also how great Louie is. In short, it was easily the best friend date I’ve had in some time. All thanks to online dating. Maybe it’s not worth giving up the ghost just yet.

Marshmallow Porn as the unwitting Pulitzer of the future?

My favourite thing at work is when my co-workers talk about reality TV. It’s fascinating. I’m not intending to be facetious or condescending here, hearing them speak about these various celebrities and people of fame is genuinely enthralling. They’re so attuned to their shows they all seem to watch that they’ll motor through them like a bullet train. I’ll often stumble into the conversation after catching a snippet here or there. I’ll take off my headphones and listen a little closer. I’ve been caught out so many times thinking they’re talking about friends, relatives, other people around the office. Each time I’m struck by how dynamic and dramatic their lives are. This person is cheating on this person, but doesn’t realise their partner is pregnant. Also that Chris guy seems to really get pushed around by Kanye a bunch, but he’s still laughing all the way to the bank, apparently. It’s really intriguing the relationship that’s built up here. Audience members are so exposed to intimate details (no matter how manufactured they seem to be. C’mon, I couldn’t be entirely without cynicism here) and events within these characters’ lives and it creates the appearance of a fully realised human being.

Subsidiary social media only bulks this out more. Twitter accounts, Instagram feeds and Facebook posts- while no doubt carefully curated and run by skilled social network teams- deliver multiple platforms in which these characters can come alive. When we’re used to experiencing our friends primarily through their online facsimiles, how different are the relationships we share between celebrities and people we know? The content has still all been curated, whether by professionals or the individual’s own filter. Who are we to decide what authenticity really means in this context? What relationship has more depth out of celebrity idolatry (in which you’ve been privy to endless hours of personal information) and a mutual friend of a co-worker you briefly said hi to at a party and added because you liked the way they wore a smile? They’re both one-sided relationships of sorts until you flesh them out. Besides, who’s more likely to respond to your comments? Someone who accepted your friend request to bolster their friend count or Azealia Banks?

I’ve never had a meaningful exchange with someone renown online, but that’s more symptomatic of not seeking out those experiences. The limiting factors are dedication and a willingness to put myself out there in front of The Internet’s judgement. If I wanted to get my voice out there I’d need something significant enough to say to cut through the noise. Even if I sculpted something spectacular, my words would outlast the impression I made and I’d be a faceless name in the crowd. The likelihood of that transpiring in any real life friendship with a figure of note is minimal, but not impossible. Accessibility to those who we place on pedestals has never been easier. The inequality gap of fame is shrinking bit by bit as new celebrities are forged overnight through viral internet fame. The internet dangles that carrot in front of our face all too readily. We’re all online celebs in the making, we just need to combine timing and message. Hell, I could write something that gets picked up, shared and proliferated around the world, changing the scope of my audience from that of a small classroom to a small city.

It’d only last until they found the turd dinosaurs entry in any case.

Some might say my writing can be drivel at times. Who am I to disagree?

As a child I was a drooler. Severely. I don’t remember myself as an infant (because even with the perspective ageing brings, it’s hard to widen your scope that much), but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn I’d constantly been blowing big bubbles of spit. Forget hubba bubba, I’d been home brewing. I chewed a lot too. Most of my baby toys bore the brunt of my gummy maw. My blankey was akin to a wonka style everlasting beef jerkey. More telling is my old plush Richard Scarry choo choo train, which, for reasons of fading print, became eventually dubbed the “oo choo train”. Passengers mysteriously faded from their eternal voyage along with the locomotive’s branding. Whatever crazy intention (get it? Loco-motive? Okay, that was reaching a bit far) I had for chewing everything that moved, it meant that streams of spit flowed freely whenever I didn’t dam the falls with an appropriate pacifier.

One of my favourite stories involved a kindergarten photo. A fellow classmate decided she had a thing for me and took the posed moment of the photo as a chance to spring at me. I bolted and the photographer caught us mid-chase, a line of drool suspended from my lips. Gross, but adorably so within the right frame. A photo frame perhaps? I actually have no idea if it actually happened. She told me the story a few years later when we were in primary school and I liked it so much I wanted to believe her. I think I’ve deigned to hold it as truth regardless, just because I want to believe.

I got better as I aged, but slowly. Speech therapy helped a bunch, but apart from my totally solvable lisp (which I solved myself years later), I also spat when I got excited and attempted talking. It took me quite some time to shake this habit, but as with most of my undesirable proclivities, I made an effort to move past it. I kept the overly excitable demeanour, which usually resurfaces after a drink or two, but I think the front rows don’t get quite so drenched anymore.

Ever so often when I get to a totally safe, comfortable place, this habit will resurface a little. Spitting isn’t on the radar any more, but after an exceptional massage I’ve been known to leave a little wet patch by the side of my mouth. When I snooze in a room that’s a little too warm, I think I’ve got a propensity to mouth-breathe a little, judging by the occasional puddle on a pillow. It feels a tad gross, but moreso it sends me back to an earlier time in my life. Like so many nostalgia trips, it puts me in a place of comfort, of innocence. Transporting me to a time before troubles and worries became truly realised, when I felt uninhibited by so many social graces. I gripped the world with an ardent intensity I rarely regain. It felt amazing to be so involved, so passionate and captivated that I didn’t think to hold myself back. I miss that, and while it may seem odd to connect myself to that ardour by a line of spittle, it’s certainly difficult to look back along that stream and not see a tangible connection.

Then again, there are certainly adult ways of showing passion where good lubrication comes in handy. So maybe all isn’t lost.

 

By the way, after yesterday’s emotional clusterfuck I promised you guys a poo joke. Not being one to renege on a pledge, here’s one I thought of on the fly:

Q. What did the gunslinger give to his doctor?
A. A pistool sample.

Told you I’d give it a shot.

Hey guys, I got to use the “Turd Dinosaurs” category again. O frabjous day!

I have company tonight and as such haven’t had the time to watch Community. Consequently, I’ve found that most of my usual haunts on the interwebs are strictly out of bounds. A spoiler? In my vagina? It’s more likely than you think (the spoilers, not my possession of a vagina. Can anyone really own a vagina?). The way that we obsess over television these days and how habitual our viewing/surfing patterns are has become strangely ritualistic. So much of the pull in engaging with a programme is the idea of shared consumption. We don’t merely watch a show like Community, we talk about it on Facebook. We join wanktastic circle-jerks/meme repositories just so we can repeat our favourite catch phrases in front of internet strangers in exchange for meaningless validation. We scour review sites, absorb creator/cast interviews, participate in heated online competitions against other fandoms. Wait, why am I using the 2nd person narrative here? Clearly I’m just talking about myself (for a change).

To be honest though, I feel like my fandom has greatly declined in favour of my borderline stalker preoccupation with Dan Harmon. I still love the show, but my torch seems to be lit for Rick and Morty right now and I love Harmontown more than either. That being said, some of the overzealous fanbase that I’ve come to realise flock towards nerdy/geeky shows are making me increasingly leery of using the term “fan” for myself. I’m sure you know the type, yelling and excitable about everything, repeating lines in time with whatever you’re watching, latching onto catch phrases (if I never hear some variant of “TROY AND ABED IN ___ ___________” again I’ll die happy. Also if I get a cool, fluffy dog I’d die happy too, but that’s not relevant right now) as a child does, repeating them when they’re been driven 6 feet under ground already. These people make me ashamed and self-conscious about identifying as a fan. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them being so enthusiastic either, I’m almost jealous that there’s something that they care about that much. Is that it though? Do I care just as much as these people do? Am I just choosing to present my enthusiasm through different means (e.g. Not shouting at the top of my lungs)?

It’s tricky, because I love being invested in these things so much, but this kind of aggressively rabid behaviour makes me hesitant to announce my “allegiance to the cause” in public at times. You’d think that in a “safe space” populated with other fans I’d feel ok letting my freak flag fly, but something about it doesn’t feel right to me. It’s possible to be a massive fan of something without devolving into a slavering boorish mess, right? Maybe it’s a natural resurgence of New Zealand’s tall poppy syndrome coming to the fore.

I’ve just realised that this is easily the worst thing I’ve written in a while. I’m not even gonna finish those thoughts. With just over 2 minutes left I’ve come to accept that this won’t become remotely impassioned, I’m writing on a subject that I’m not dramatically invested in. Does that invalidate everything I’ve just typed? No, they’re genuine words that’ve been intentionally arranged before this paragraph. They’re just not very good ones. Well, I like the word “consequently” anyway, it just flows off the tongue. The question, I guess, that arises next is whether or not this project is served by putting things out that I can’t really get behind? I think the value exists just as much in being able to adopt self-criticism. Part of becoming a better writer is getting to know what you’ve done that doesn’t work and ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

I’m sure it will though. Because I’m only human.

And a few dinosaur genes.

For irony’s sake I wish I’d typed this up in the middle of a face to face conversation.

30 minutes to go. The timer’s of the essence here. Once it ticks down to zero I’m free to go off and watch the Rick and Morty that’ll be waiting there for me. See, I’d thought it was on a long hiatus and as such didn’t expect it to be landing in my lap. If I’d had a portable computer I would’ve gone for a “landing in my laptop” pun, but as I’ve got a PC it’d be politically incorrect to do so. Or just generally incorrect. I kind of do own a laptop. There’s one that’s been sitting in our hallway since I moved in. All it needs is for the battery to be replaced. I’ve been too lazy/disinclined to do so. I don’t feel like owning a laptop in addition to my PC would significantly improve the quality of my life. Then again I’ve never owned a laptop before, so it might be that I don’t know what I’m missing. Typing on the go would be easier, I could watch episodes of Rick and Morty on the way to work instead of waiting until 2am (with impending work tomorrow morning) to do so. I could read E-books in an easier format than smartphone reading. I’d also have an unnecessarily large object weighing me down. Is this why people own tablets? I’ve yet to spend much time typing on one, but I found myself getting increasingly irritated with a tablet user the other day during FPCon. Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re in the middle of a seminar taking notes, surely you’d disable the faux typing sound effect on your tablet, right? I’m sure you like to hear the click-clacking of keys for some kind of reassurance, but why would everyone else? If it’s that easy to turn it off, why not have some consideration for the people around you?

I’m sure this’ll come off very “get off my lawn”, but I’m seeing a lot of disheartening smart device etiquette every day. At FPCon I noticed a number of people at desks in front of me regularly checking social media sites in the middle of lectures. I saw people repeatedly open and shut laptops depending if they had anything they wanted to type up. Some gal in front of me wrote up a lengthy email in the middle of a lecture. Surely if it was that pressing you could’ve stepped outside? How could you think someone teaching a session wouldn’t notice? It seemed to showcase an alarming amount of disrespect for the people spending their time informing, educating and entertaining us. Lord Reith must’ve done at least a 720 in his grave. Yet again it makes me feel curmudgeonly, but is it necessary to check your phone over 10 times during a 1.5 hour lecture? Is your attention span so minimal that you’re diverting attention away from a seminar that you chose to engage in at a conference you paid to attend?

I don’t think I’d be able to teach (well, that sentence could probably stand on its own. I really don’t see myself as a teacher type (says the guy teaching gymnastics)) in an environment where people were constantly trying to hide their digressions by holding their phone under the desk. It’s still obvious. Maybe I’ve just got a fragile ego (ya think? -Ed), but I’d see that type of behaviour as deliberately undermining the value of the lecture I’d put effort into constructing. Then again, how great is my attention span? Much as I want to get this finished so I can watch Rick and Morty, I just spent 10 minutes trying to take a snapchat of myself wearing my newly acquired vibrating cock ring as a monocle. Yes, it’s clean. No, I haven’t used it yet. I don’t think I’m mature enough for adult toys yet.

Speaking of maturity, how long do you think the average poop takes now compared to pre-smart phone times? I know for a fact that at my old job discovering the toilet one level up that had wifi access was the death of productivity. I still got through an overwhelming amount of work, but I can’t help but wonder how much time I could’ve saved the project if I wasn’t playing a Pokémon nuzlocke run on my bathroom breaks. Now speaking of time, it’s up. Time to abandon this reality for the endless sprawling planes of Rick and Morty.

I swear those paintings were trying to eat my soul, but searched and found nothing. Good thing I sold it to Millhouse for $5.

My mind feels fatigued. I’ve just been through a long day of tests and procedures. Not because I’m sick, but because I’m poor. I’ve partaken in a CAMH study involving drinking alcohol to see how my brain responds to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation under an EEG cap. I know the idea was to stay off alcohol for the month, but we were originally supposed to start testing Monday, which would have fit into this Spring Cleaning thing. I’ll allow this digression from my plan as it was For Science! As it was, far from drunken revelry I just felt sleepy, given my late bed time, early rising and inability to eat anything until 5pm (so as not to compromise the data). You’d think I would’ve found something more inspiring to break my fast on than a tin of tuna and a banana, but I wasn’t in my most conscious state this morning.

I’m really busting to go toilet, but I’m waiting on my supervisor to give me one of my half hourly breath tests. After having gone through a day full of tedious tests (apart from drinking the 5 standard drinks in 15 minutes), I’m left here in a waiting room with a TV, a bed and excess magazines until I’m sober enough to leave. I also have my phone and a power point, thus the internet, so I’m quite fine. Not quite as fine as I would be if I could go off and do some lavatory experiments, but all things considered I’m currently being paid to write this. Things could be worse.

Okay. Post dunny and feeling fine. For once this project is helping me bide time instead of soaking it up. The room I’m recuperating in is stark and sterile except for two paintings, the subjects of which universally are without faces. It’s pretty unnerving and seems like a justifiable fever dream of the mentally divergent. The most alarming one looks like an overly saturated lovecraftian temperance era fête. The figures on the canvas seem to be looking directly into my soul without visible eyes and I feel like I’ve failed their judgement. The longer I stare, the more tenuous my grip on sanity seems. The gaudy colours brand themselves to my subconscious, eclipsing rational thought. Why do they come to me to die? WHY DO THEY COME TO ME TO DIE?

Ahem. I’ve left the room now and some modicum of propriety has returned to my mind. After 10 hours of dimly lit rooms I thought it time to grab a hearty feed. Naturally this means I’ve gone out for Korean, my new favourite cuisine. Between the multitude of side dishes, delicious tofu soups and charmingly low rent atmosphere, it’s everything I desire in a quick, leisurely meal. Also they play no end of insane K-Pop, which is never not a great time. I don’t know many other genres that are so unabashedly flashy and there’s something endearing about that. All the pop stars are eerily pretty, both male and female, as if they emerged from vats fully formed. Unlike the paintings in the waiting room I just left they have eyes, but I’m doubtful of the humanity behind them. Creepy.

Oh, would you look at that? The meal’s here. Time to soak up today’s alcohol but good.

Three hundred and sixty five days of writing in a row? I don’t think I even managed to wear pants that consistently.

What am I doing with my life? For the first time in my life I’ve found myself wondering this on a constant basis and for the first time in my life I’ve found myself struggling to really care. Wow, no, back up. Let’s reel it back a tad before this sounds too much like a call for help. It’d be more accurate to say, not that I don’t care, but that I’m not worried. Stuff, things and whatnot are in flux, the world is spinning away merrily on its axis and life continues to be interesting. I’m just finding it hard to come up with any major problems in my day to day. I’ve found, as of late, that I’m having difficulty getting wound up. I’ve unwittingly embraced some kind of internal policy of letting go and it’s leaving me calm, contemplative and carrot. The last one may be at odds with the others, I was just looking for any word that started with a hard “c” sound. “Carrot” sufficed, as carrots often do.

It wasn’t until recently that I came to this revelation. I’ve changed. I mean, we all do. It’d be hard to walk through life without being affected by the world around you. I’ve undergone a number of massive changes logistically, socially, job-y (I never claimed to be a writer). I don’t know if those are really the true agents of growth that’ve pushed me towards this epiphany. It’s this. The reason we’re both here right now. This project, this writing. I feel like splaying my mind open for us all to dissect has sculpted me into a more honest individual who’s comfortable about everything that makes me a unique entity. If anything is on my mind, rattling around my skull I can type it out and work it out. We’ve long known the power of venting, giving voice to your problems in order to better rationalise them. I’m getting the cathartic release of ridding myself of that negative frame of mind. So many times I’ve finished an entry only to feel the large gravitational push of worry dissipate. If a problem shared is a problem halved, I feel like I’m giving them away faster than I can hold onto them.

I guess the reason why I’m saying this is that today marks my 365th entry. The numbers have been piling up at what seems to be an accelerated speed. 365 days in a row. A page every day, regardless of situation or circumstance. I’ve been plugging away, jotting down, typing up. Whatever you want to call it (I favour the word “scribing”, but I’m a romantic at heart. Oh that these keys were the neck of a quill. Or not, there are children under 5 with better handwriting than me), I’ve been doing it. Everything I’ve gone through, whoever I’ve become, no matter the context of my days and nights I’ve painted my thoughts onto this blank canvas. “Painted”? I’m gonna stick with “typed”. Having this kind of outlet is remarkable. I don’t know where it places me, I don’t know what it means (if it means anything at all), but I’ve accomplished something here. I still refuse to classify myself as a writer because, while I help define myself with these words, I don’t think these words on their own define me. Does it feel weird (and kinda meta) to write about writing about myself? How do I respond to reading things I’ve written? Is there anything I’ve looked after the fresh glow of creation dies down and thought “seriously?” I wrote that? Could I even recognise if I’d written something of value? How does one even define value in stream of consciousness? If I’m writing this for myself, why is it on the internet? Is my narcissism really that expansive? Does it ever get old using a keyboard to ask myself questions?

Speaking of questions, the one I’ve fielded most since starting this project is “what happens when you get to a year?” They ask me if it finishes, will I have accomplished what I set out to do? The answer, invariably, is no. This is just something I do now. I know that Western culture loves for things to be conclusive, but if life isn’t, how can this project be? Since I begun scribing (see, doesn’t it sound spiffy?) I Have My Doubts, my only goal has been to become a better writer. Who’s to say if that’s happened, or if that will ever happen? All I know is that right now this project is helping more than it’s hurting, so I’m keen to keep it up as a forum for everything consuming my mind. Because I need somewhere to talk about adulthood, alcohol, animals, books, Canada, cartoons, childhood, clothes, comedy, comics, communication, consumption abuse, creativity, cringe, Dan Harmon, dating, death, dogs, doubts, dreams, education, family, fear, fitness, food, friends, Game of Thrones, games, geekery, gender, happiness, health, hobbies, humanity, insects, internet, isms, masculinity, media, memories, movies, music, narcissism, New Zealand, nostalgia, personal growth, podcasts, Pokémon, porn, rap, relationships, Rotorua, sanity, self-image, self-loathing, sex, sleep, society, spirituality, stream of consciousness, technology, television, the feels, the future, the human mind, thought, timelines, toys, travel, turd dinosaurs, wankery, words, work and writing.